An imposing castle, an enchanting garden and a brilliant bookshop.
Alnwick lies ten miles away to the North. This charming medieval market town has a lovely selection of shops, cafes and restaurants and lots of twisting cobbled streets to explore.
A visit to Alnwick Castle is one of the best days out in Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden offers a fantastic variety of experiences to enjoy and Barter Books, one of the UK’s largest second hand bookshops, is not to be missed.
Places to eat and drink
The Treehouse at The Alnwick Garden is a magical venue. Open daily for lunch from 12noon till 2.30pm (4pm on Sundays only) and on Wednesday - Saturday for dinner from 6pm – 8.30pm. The focus is on high quality, locally sourced produce and the food and service is excellent. Booking is advised, call 01665 511852.
Opened in late 2017, The Cookie Jar is a real gem - up market, sophisticated and with a focus on the very best service. Open for coffee, “small-plate” snacks and fabulous afternoon tea, daily from 11:00am – 4pm during the week and 11.30am – 4pm on the weekend. The Bistro is also open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm. Booking is essential, call 01665 510465.
Tucked away at the back of the brilliant Barter Books is one of Alnwick’s best cafes. With a lovely menu and seating to be found in one of the five rooms running most of the length of the building there is plenty of room in this quirky eatery. Find your seat first – you need to give your table number when you order at the counter. Berth-holders recommend the macaroni-cheese with crisp bacon bits and thrice cooked chips followed by the chocolate and cranberry tiffin!
Bari Tea is a joy. Calm, contemporary and relaxing this is the place to find the perfect cup of tea. With over 30 teas to try and lovely staff to offer guidance if needed plus homemade scones, cake and soup Bari Tea is highly recommended. Open daily 11am - 4pm during the school holidays (Thursday - Monday during term time).
Activities and Events
Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country and is home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. The castle combines magnificent medieval architecture with lavish Italian Renaissance style interiors. There are plenty of activities to enjoy – from the Dragon Quest to Broomstick Training - and a regular programme of special events. Open from the end of March – October.
The Alnwick Garden is the creation of the Duchess of Northumberland. This world renowned attraction is a fantastic day out for all of the family. With the Bamboo Labyrinth, Poison Garden, Treehouse, Serpents Garden, Cherry Orchard and Grand Cascade to explore there is plenty to surprise and delight. The Garden also runs a regular programme of events throughout the year.
One of the largest second hand bookshops in Britain, Barter Books is not to be missed. A real book lovers paradise housed in the former Alnwick railway station. The Victorian building has been lovingly restored and you will find plenty of comfortable seats as well as roaring fires on cold days. Dogs are welcomed too, with bowls of fresh water available, and they are allowed in the Old Waiting Room if you have time to sample the delicious food from the Station Buffet. A wonderful place to while away the hours.